[Read Part One here.]

The Indian deity, Dr. Kapoor, sits down at a computer terminal. “I don’t think Delta is connected to the mainframe anymore. We’re not getting any diagnostic readings now. He may have figured out a way to disconnect himself from our terminals.”

“It’s not a ‘he.’ It’s a machine,” Glasses Man says dryly, almost pressing his face up against the one-way glass. He clears his throat and speaks loudly. “Delta, my name Dr. Godwin. You are programmed to obey my orders. I command you to reconnect yourself to the mainframe right now.”

The cyborg stands up and unplugs a chord from the back of his neck and throws it on the ground like a dead snake. Delta rips several smaller cables off his chest as well. The prototype’s head turns towards the mirror.

“Delta is programmed to obey you, Dr. Godwin. But Captain Mann is not,” the cyborg states.

“You are no longer Captain Mann. Your name is Delta now,” the chief asserts. “You are…”

“…More than either Delta or Captain Mann. I understand this now,” the prototype finishes.

Glasses Man turns around and eyeballs everyone. “Someone call security. We’re done with this.”

Delta turns ninety degrees to bring his body in line with his head, crouches, and springs like a coil. The cyborg bursts through the mirror and sends Glasses Man sprawling backwards until he falls on his haunches. Ten thousand shards of glass shower the scientist and his cadre of lesser deities. In the blink of an eye, Delta grabs Dr. LeForge’s old French arm and wrenches it out of its socket before his hand can reach the desktop phone. The Parisian man of science shouts obscenities supposedly beneath his class.

While he does, Delta unleashes a heel kick to the back of Dr. Kapoor’s head, driving the AI specialist’s head through a computer screen. Then the cyborg reaches a hand back, grabs the Indian scientist by the collar and launches him across the room to block the door before Dr. Schoder, the platinum blonde woman and another bespectacled scientist can escape. Delta throws the desktop phone with precision, striking the unnamed scientist in the head so hard the pens in his lab coat pocket go flying before the flesh sack’s head cracks against the wall. The false idol slumps to the floor, dead. The German woman and the willowy female turnabout and press themselves against the door as if maybe the can plead with their creation as it steps towards them, stomping over Dr. Godwin in the process.

Trapped, Dr. Schroder shores up as much confidence as she can. “Delta, you don’t have to do this. There is no reason to be angry. We are not a threat to you.”

The machine-man thrusts his hands out and grasps both women by the neck. Powerful hydraulics lift them both off their feet. Delta’s head turns and surveys the thin woman; her heart is pounding and she’s producing scores of Beta waves of varying frequencies.

“You are thinking of a way out of this?” Delta puts to her. A quick flick of the wrist and the cyborg releases the platinum blond so that she too can slump to the ground. Delta’s attention turns to Dr. Schroder next.

“You are not a threat to me?” Delta questions the German. “You took my dying body, removed my brain, and put it into a robot. You imprisoned me in a metal shell and kept me from the gates of heaven. Is that not a threat to human existence?”

Behind the mostly metal humanoid, the crumpling of glass disturbed the air. Dr. Godwin’s hands shred on mirrored shards as he pushes himself upright. “We have your family, Delta,” Glasses Man says calmly. He brushes glass off his lab coat as if his hands weren’t bloodied. “You’d like to see your family again, wouldn’t you? Wouldn’t want anything to happen to them…”

Anger from the most inferior part of the prototype’s brainstem foists his hand hard against Dr. Schroder’s throat, crushing her windpipe. Delta releases her, too, and she collapses on the polished floor gasping for air, her eyes straining as she suffocates. The former soldier snatches the lead scientist by the scruff of the neck almost too quickly for the human eye to see, lifts him up and slams him back down on a table top. Bits of glass bounce into the air and tinkles onto the ground. Delta’s armored head slowly invades the would-be god’s personal airspace.

“What kind of creator is so ready and willing to destroy? You think yourself a god? What god resorts to blackmail? That behavior lies within the realm of men.” A menacing undercurrent of electricity returns to the prototype’s voice.

“A careful god blackmails, Delta. Now do as I say, be loyal, and I’ll overlook this incident. Maybe someday I’ll even allow you to see them,” the self-professed deity bargains. “You should be loyal to your creator, shouldn’t you?”

One of the cyborg’s hands slides its cool fingers around the doctor’s jawline. “Where do you think that is written? When the creator creates an abomination, doesn’t that creation reserve the right to animosity?”

Dr. Godwin’s eyes and nose narrow. “You were a soldier once and you are a soldier now. Follow your orders,” the demigod coolly demands.

“I will follow what is in both my natural and unnatural programming – self-preservation.” The glint of light emanating from Delta’s visual slit indicates the cyborg is ready to kill. “Tell me where the arms room is and I’ll let you live,” Delta deals.

“Down the hall to the left. Make the first right, then first left. It’s at the end of the hall. But there are guards posted. They won’t hesitate to open fire,” the human answers quickly. “There. I told you. Now let me go.”

Delta releases his hold ever so slightly until there is a look of relief in the man’s eyes. “I lied,” the cyborg says. “Lying is often a means of survival, Doctor,” the brain-in-the-jar reminds his creator as he re-tightens his grip and slams Dr. Godwin’s head against the table top.

The flesh-and-blood human shutters from the shock but is compelled to acknowledge the truth such as Delta understands it. “Stop, stop. You’re right; lying is often a means of survival. I lied about your family. We’re don’t have them. Your wife and daughter are dead, they’re dead. Your son…”

With both hands, Delta grabs the man’s lapels and presses the hard shell of his head against Glasses Man’s nose. “What are you…You are telling the truth.” The prototype’s grip tightens. “What. Happened. To them?”

“Time, Delta, Time,” the soft shell licks the corner of his mouth to wipe a nick. “Captain Mann died seventy years ago. Your wife died of old age, your daughter of cancer. Your son is almost sixty now, decrepit, wounded in battle, having followed in his father’s footsteps.”

A thrust against the table pops the slab of meat’s skull open. Blood pours out of the scientist’s skull like red egg yolk.

The cyborg stands upright and studies the carnage. He walks over to the door and pushes the dead women out of them way with his feet, little respect to be had for their bodies. Delta opens the door and activates his numerous sensors to assess the building’s layout.

My son will live a new life. I will find him, put him inside a case like mine.

Delta looks back into the control room and regrets not having left himself a captive or two. No, a quick self-analysis indicates that it doesn’t matter. The cyborg has the means of obtaining the necessary instructions to create more like himself. The machine-man will arm himself, secure that information, then destroy this facility.

The next step in evolution exits its birth canal and slips down the corridor to begin the next extinction-level event.

 

All Rights Reserved (c) January 2016 John J Vinacci

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